Sunday 25th of September 2022

the end of colonialism……?

A new imperialism stalks the Third World. It shares with the old an unquenchable thirst — for its labor, its land, its minerals, and its water. If colonization depended on the political strategies of divide and rule, the imperialists no longer have to rule today. Instead, they rely on local elites eager to aid their peoples’ exploitation in return for a share of the spoils — a process sanitized with the language of investments, trade deals and partnerships.

That imperialism would find a way to become more efficient, not less, was not inevitable. At the 1945 Pan-African Congress in Manchester, England, the declaration was clear: “We welcome economic democracy as the only real democracy.” As pan-Africanism gained prominence, intellectuals like W.E.B. Du Bois, alongside political actors, workers, and peasants, endorsed the unity of the African people for the purpose of liberation from political oppression and emancipation from economic exploitation.


By P. Anyang’ Nyong’o
Africa is a Country



Three future African presidents were at the 1945 conference: Hastings Kamuzu Banda of Malawi, Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana. All three men led their nations to independence but encountered different fortunes. Banda and Kenyatta, happy to side with the imperialists once in office, ruled their countries until death did them part. Nkrumah, like the pan-Africanist Milton Obote of Uganda much later, faced hostile domestic forces supported by the West — and was removed from power.

The loss of leaders like Nkrumah was part of a gruesome period of assassinations and mysterious killings that eliminated pan-Africanists and anti-imperialist intellectuals across the world. 

Another conference in Accra bore witness to the election of Thomas Joseph Mboya of Kenya, as the chairman of the first All African Peoples’ Conference (AAPC). At the age of 28, Mboya flew to the U.S. to win the support of Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy for the famous “airlift” of Kenyan students to access higher education there. All three leaders fell to the assassin’s bullet: Mboya and King for standing against the imperialists, and Kennedy for standing with the civil rights movement.

“While revolutionaries as individuals can be murdered,” said Thomas Sankara, the pan-Africanist president of Burkina Faso, “you cannot kill ideas.” Sankara’s words would turn out to be tragically prophetic. 

Hailed as “the new Nkrumah,” Sankara threatened the stranglehold that French imperialism had on West Africa by pushing for pan-Africanism and resisting the illegitimate debts that kept African nations subordinate to imperialist financiers. He too, was assassinated in 1987 in a coup backed by France and the US Whenever Africa has tried to forge her own future, she has been thwarted.

During the Covid-19 crisis, Africa depended entirely on the Western world for its future, exposing the fragility of the continent in the global political and economic order. Super highways, giant factories, and billionaires stood no chance against a raging virus. Why is it that a small island like Cuba, with only 11 million people and sugar cane as its main agricultural endowment, could respond to Covid-19 much more effectively than the whole of Africa? The answer is simple: While Africa looked to the West for the import of vaccines, Cuba produced three of its own and offered to share them with other nations.

When the U.S. tried to isolate Cuba from the rest of the world through sanctions, Cuba turned towards its own people. By emphasizing self-reliance, Cuba developed its medicine and bio-technology industries, while centering medical internationalism.

That is the example for Africa. It is not countries or governments that need to be liberated, it is people living in various countries under various political regimes that need to be liberated so they can live with freedom, dignity, and equality. In fact, only Africans can be their own liberators through trade unions, mutual aid groups, social movements, and political parties.

The Progressive International’s Council, whose declaration clearly states that internationalism means anti-imperialism, states: “Our internationalism stands against imperialism in all its forms: from war and sanctions to privatization and ‘structural adjustment.’ These are not only tools of domination by some nations over others but are also the tools of division to set the peoples of the world against each other.”

The political and economic liberation of the African people cannot be a one-country affair. By necessity it must be a pan-African movement with international solidarity with progressive social forces. This, too, is the only viable way by which regional and continental economic and political integration can be achieved.



Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o is a Kenyan politician and author who is also the current governor of Kisumu County.

This article is from Africa is a Country and is republished under a creative commons license. 

The views expressed are solely those of the authors and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.







white phosphorus…...


By Phil Miller
Declassified UK


British soldiers on training exercises in Kenya have used white phosphorus on 15 occasions since 2017, Declassified has found.

White phosphorus can cause horrific burns to human skin and multiple organ failure, with Russia facing criticism from the U.K. for allegedly firing it in Ukraine this April.

The British army claims its own use of white phosphorus in Kenya, which first emerged that same month, does not breach international law.

They insist U.K. troops never fire it at civilian targets, saving it for illumination or smoke screening purposes.

However, Britain uses the controversial munition at Archers Post, a vast area of communal land in Kenya that is frequented by farmers, children and elephants.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) does not draw up specific safety plans for warning Kenyan civilians that white phosphorus mortars are about to be deployed, Declassified has found.

Instead, the army relies on standard safety plans for live fire exercises, claiming “white phosphorus munitions have no other defining characteristics that would change this.”

Nearby schools are briefed on the dangers of unexploded ordnance, including white phosphorus rounds and leaflets are handed out to local villagers. 

Although British troops claim to clear firing ranges of “all persons and wildlife” prior to training exercises, no specific assessment is made of the environmental impact of firing white phosphorus in Kenya.

The new details were revealed in a Freedom of Information response from the Ministry of Defence, after Defence Minister James Heappey MP refused to answer a parliamentary question about the scale of white phosphorus use in Kenya.

‘Double Standards’

Kelvin Kubai, a lawyer who works near Archers Post, accused the British army of “double standards.” 

“The U.K. is against its use by Russia, yet they’re using it in training,” he commented. “Probably they’re using it in training so that in future, maybe when there is war, they’ll be able to use it.”

James Mwangi Macharia, executive chairman of the ACCPA, a Kenyan anti-pollution group, said: “This is a matter that calls for global attention and condemnation, considering the British Government is condemning Russia for use of these chemicals in civilian areas.”

He added: “The use of white phosphorus in areas inhabited by masses, especially in the northern part of Kenya, is extremely grave. Communities here are nomads and are highly exposed to this extremely harmful chemical.”

Kubai, who witnessed a recent exercise at Archers Post, said: “You still find some nomads there who are very illiterate, they don’t know what’s happening or what could be the effect of grazing on such areas.”

Due to climate change, he added, “There are limited grazing areas, so the army using white phosphorus and then telling the community not to access those lands – it really beats logic. 

“The last time we were there, there were still people grazing their animals on the same areas that they were using to carry out the training.”

Macharia said local people had told his group they thought the white phosphorus was lightning, because of how it illuminates the sky. 

The ACCPA is conducting its own environmental audit, due out next month, to ascertain the impact of white phosphorus in Kenya. The group is also contacting the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. 

Defence Agreement

The revelations come amid attempts by the British army to renew its licence to operate in Kenya for another five years.

Kenyan politicians recently visited London to discuss a new defence cooperation agreement, but it is unlikely to be approved before next week’s presidential elections in Nairobi.

The treaty is facing heightened opposition from Kenyan campaigners, who are demanding the extradition of a British soldier believed to have murdered Kenyan woman Agnes Wanjiru and dumped her body in a hotel septic tank.

In another case, nearly 1,500 Kenyans are suing the British army for sparking a devastating wildfire at one training ground, an incident linked to two deaths.

Ministry of Defence lawyers have tried to argue Kenyan courts lack the authority to hear the compensation claim. 

The fire damage is currently being investigated by an intergovernmental liaison committee, made up of U.K. and Kenyan officials.

Its co-chair is Brigadier Ronnie Westerman, defence attaché at the British High Commission in Nairobi. She had previously argued the court case should be annulled on grounds of “state immunity.”

An MOD spokesperson said: “We deeply value our relationship with Kenya, which has long been the U.K.’s defence partner of choice in East Africa, and the British Army conducts critical work with the Kenya Defence Forces to build security and stability in the region. Our personnel are held to the highest standard wherever they serve around the world.”

Phil Miller is DeclassifiedUK’s chief reporter. He is the author of Keenie Meenie: the British Mercenaries Who Got Away with War Crimes. follow him on twitter at @pmillerinfo

This article is from Declassified UK.